Farm Film Festival 13: March 15 – March 21, 2021

Crandell Theatre proudly presents the thirteenth annual Farm Film Festival. This year’s festival, presented in collaboration with the Chatham Agricultural Partnership and the Columbia Land Conservancy, will be held virtually via Zoom. Farm Film Festival XIII is presented with generous support from MetzWood Insurance and the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation.

As in the past, the program is a mix of films made by professional and amateur filmmakers who respond to the call for entries; the films are selected by a panel representing the collaborating organizations. The festival showcases films that focus on farms, farming, and farming issues from local and national filmmakers. Our theme this year is “Sustainability Around the Globe.”

All nine short films will be available for viewing from March 15th-21st on our Youtube channel. Virtual screening is open to the public at no charge, but registration is required to gain access.

We invite you to view each of these films at your convenience, and join us on March 21st at 4 p.m. for a panel discussion.

Register here:

The discussion will be moderated by Daniel Franck, Ph.D University of California (Berkeley), botanist and Director of Science Curriculum at the Core Knowledge Foundation.

Our panelists include Claudia Kenney of Little Seed Gardens, John Ng of Hudson Valley Fisheries, and Troy Weldy of Columbia Land Conservancy.

Claudia Kenney is the co-owner and operator of Little Seed Gardens, a 97 acre farm in Chatham. Little Seed Gardens produces 15 acres of vegetables and herbs, Randall cattle breeding stock, and grass-fed beef using a Holistic Management model.

John Ng is the founder of Hudson Valley Fisheries, a 1200 metric ton, 160,000 square foot indoor aquaculture facility. In 2019 it became the first such facility to earn the designation of New York State Grown and Certified.

Troy Weldy is a botanist and the President of Columbia Land Conservancy. Prior to joining CLC last September, Troy was Director of Lands at the Nature Conservatory of New York.

The films, all focused on fascinating and timely farming endeavors, are as follows:

Urban Farming

The COVID-19 pandemic has created food shortages and problems with access to food. “Seeds to Plate” is a garden-based educational program with an integrated approach that uses science, history and art classes to help students develop a love of growing and eating healthy food.

Filmmaker: Seth Koury

Run time: 7:35

Forest Farming: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain

Forest farming is an agroforestry practice where non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are stewarded and/or cultivated in the forest understory. Managing forests is a topic of interest in our region as when farmland goes fallow, it often reverts to forests. Unregulated lumbering can disturb the water supply, wildlife habitats, and forest botanicals that are used for medicinal purposes.

Filmmakers: Ann Armbrecht & Terrence Youk

Run time: 11:13

Mark Usher: The Roman Villa Project

Vermont farmer and classics professor Mark Usher describes his ongoing research project that examines Archaeology, Paleobotany, and Sustainable Agriculture in Italy’s Sabine Hills. This is a fascinating look at 1500 year old farming practices and biodiversity  that inform the way a contemporary olive farm builds on the past.

Filmmaker: Reid Kerley, Loud Cat Creative

Run time: 7:02

Kelp: It’s What’s for Dinner

While cultivating kelp as a food has been a tradition in many Asian cultures for centuries, kelp farming only reached U.S. shores in recent decades. Part of the Science Friday series, this video examines the role that kelp farming plays in moving beyond sustainability into biological and economic regeneration.

Filmmaker: Luke Groskin, Science Friday

Run time: 5:46

Cultivating Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms

Step into the mushroom kingdom and unlock the secrets of fungi. From lion’s mane and reishi to shiitake and pink oyster, these healthy and delicious mushroom species are worth the effort it takes to grow them. With incredible cognitive and neurological benefits, these mushrooms may hold the key to solutions for many of society’s ailments. Chatham’s Rock City Mushrooms is a popular stop on Chatham’s annual farm tour each September.

Filmmaker: Paragraphic

Run time: 12:54

Hudson Valley Fisheries Brand Documentary

Hudson Valley Fisheries is a recirculating aquaculture facility in Hudson, New York growing steelhead trout. These fish are fed a GMO free diet and are free from hormones, antibiotics and vaccines and rated a Best Choice by Seafood Watch. They’re all about sustainability.

Filmmaker: Poull Brien

Run time: 3:48

The Futuristic Farms that will Feed the Future

The security of the food system is one of the world’s most pressing challenges. Efficient farming in the Netherlands presents one solution with a greenhouse system that produces 20 times more food with ¼ the water, resulting in one of the most sustainable agriculture systems in the world.

Filmmaker: Michael O’Shea, freethink

Run time: 6:20

Sailors for Sustainability #86 – A Farm that Restores Nature

Ivar and Floris are two Dutchmen with a love for the natural world and a passion for travel. Since 2016, they have sailed around the world searching for solutions to sustainability challenges. #86 profiles a farm in Chile that combines organic farming with reforestation efforts and tourist education. Their goal is to restore local flora and fauna on former grasslands.

Filmmakers: Ivar and Floris

Run time: 6:14

How an Indoor Farm Uses Technology to Grow 80,000 Pounds of Produce per Week

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised new issues of food security and food production. Bowery Farming is a network of vertical farms based in NYC. Here, innovations in light, water, and other growing technologies enable the multi-level operation to use 95 percent less water, zero pesticides, and to grow produce optimized for flavor versus bulk or insect resistance.

Filmmaker: Daniel Geneen and McGraw Wolfman

Run time: 11:44